A special visit to our Young School Gardener of the Year 2016

We went to visit our winner Fred Wilcox with TV presenter Frances Tophill to see how he is getting on

30 March 2017

Last week, we visited Trafalgar Infant School in Twickenham to visit Fred Wilcox, winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2016, one of the categories in our annual talent search RHS School Gardeners of the Year.
 
TV gardener Frances Tophill joined us for the visit, which was part of Fred's prizes for winning the prestigious title. The other prizes that Fred and his school have already received include £500 worth of National Gardening Gift Vouchers, £100 worth of Thompson & Morgan seeds and tickets to one of the RHS Flower Shows in 2017.

The Young School Gardener of the Year award is presented to a young person, aged 5-16, who demonstrates a true passion for gardening and has made an outstanding contribution to their school. Fred is a hugely enthusiastic gardener and encourages all his classmates to get stuck in with digging, planting and growing. He is also a key member of the school’s eco team, having led assemblies on how to compost and recycle.

The special visit kicked off with Fred giving Frances a tour of the school garden, showing her the raised beds for vegetable growing, picking chives and lemon balm for Frances to taste in the sensory garden, and going into the chicken run to hunt for some eggs.
 
Fred and his classmates helped Frances plant an Egremont Russet apple tree, purchased with some of their National Gardening Gift Vouchers, in their developing orchard to provide the next generation of young school gardeners with tasty apples for years to come.
 
Frances, who was also one of the competition judges, said: “It was wonderful to visit Fred and his classmates at Trafalgar Infant School and see their fantastic school garden. Fred clearly loves being in the garden and sharing his knowledge of plants and wildlife. He’s incredibly knowledgeable for his age and full of energy and enthusiasm.”
 
Rachel Hutchins is Sustainability Coordinator at Fred’s school and oversees the school garden. She has helped Fred to put together a book of photos to record his achievements as RHS Young School Gardener of the Year. Rachel said: “Fred really enjoyed Frances’ visit and showing off all the work he’s done in the school garden. He is a lovely young lad who is so eager to learn and encourage the other children. I’m so proud of him for winning this award and I’m sure he has a very bright future ahead of him.”
 
RHS School Gardeners of the Year, supported by Gabriel Ash, is currently open for entries  so if you have a passionate pupil or team of pupils who love gardening, or a dedicated staff member or volunteer leading gardening where you are, try nominating them for one of our awards today.

See more photos from our visit: